Offbeat: Frozen in Time

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By: Nu Yang

Offbeat: Frozen in Time

Digital first is the last thing on Dean Coombs’ mind. The Saguache (Colo.) Crescent editor and publisher is the sole employee of the four-page weekly newspaper, and every week he puts out the paper using the same Linotype machine his grandparents used when they ran the publication.  

“I’m not much interested in change,” Coombs told the Los Angeles Times. “If it works, we just keep doing it.”  

The 61-year-old got his start when he was 12, helping to run the presses. At 27, he became publisher. His mother served alongside him as editor until her death in 2002.  

As reported in the Times, the Crescent’s circulation is around 450; Saguache’s population is 500. Even though the paper sells a few ads, most of its revenue comes from printing the county’s legal notices.  

The content comes from the readers. Pick up a copy and you’ll see announcements about the summer reading program, the annual art festival and a list of birthdays and anniversaries of local residents.  

In this world filled with the latest technology gadgets, Coombs doesn’t own a cellphone nor does he have Internet on his home computer.  

But considering how the Crescent celebrated its 134th anniversary this year, it looks like Coombs and his Linotype machine are doing just fine.

Published: November 6, 2013

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